Your Personal Grow-Pray-Study (GPS) Guide

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August 2018

The Greatest Showman: God’s Creation Masterpiece


Three Biblical truths that we are all God’s creation masterpiece (based on Ephesians 2:10):

  1. Every one of us is special. (Psalm 139:13-14)
  2. God has created you to do something only you can do. (Psalm 139:15-16, John 8:10-11)
  3. We are most alive when we do what we were created to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Day 1: Read Psalm 139:13. When God created you, He had only you in mind. His love for who you are is so great. He paid the ultimate price with His Son’s life because He considers you so special. As you consider who you are, take time to thank and praise God for the person He made you (and is making you) to be.

Day 2: Read Psalm 139:14. In this world, we often see differences and turn them into put downs. David sees his differences and praises God. Where has the world seen you different? Where have you been tempted to see others’ differences as a negative? Take time to thank and praise God for at least one person today (besides yourself) whom God has made (and is making) special.

Day 3: Read Psalm 139:15-16. I believe what God has placed in you matters. I believe the things He calls you to do matter. I believe He will use them to bring joy to your heart, to make His name known, and to help others to know God. What is one of the dreams God is calling you now to pursue in your life? (If your answer is “none”, this is now your high priority prayer item!)

Day 4: Read John 8:10-11. At one point in the Greatest Showman, PT Barnum is talking with his greatest critic, journalist James Gordan Bennett. Bennett makes perhaps the churchiest observation of the whole movie: “You are putting folks of all kinds on the stage with you, presenting them as equals.” How do these verses from John 8 remind you that all people matter to God?

Day 5: Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Why is it so important to remember we are saved by grace. How does God’s grace help you to come alive in living life each day?

Day 6: Read Ephesians 2:10. What are some of the good works you have discovered God has made you to do? When do you feel most alive when following God’s will? Why?

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


Up: When Grace Lifts Your Life Out of Grief


Use 1 Corinthians 13:7 to triumph over Sheryl Sandberg: 3 Traps in Grief:

  • Personalization: Blame yourself.
  • Pervasiveness: Everything in life is bad.
  • Permanence: Life will never change.

Day 1: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4. How do Paul’s words help navigate the path of grief with the grace of God’s love? How have you seen that in the life of someone you love? In your life?

Day 2: Read 1 Corinthians 13:5. In the movie Up, Carl’s grief leads him to be rude, self-seeking, and a keeper of the record of wrongs. These should have been warning signs that his grief was destroying relationships and himself. What are the warning signs your grief or in your life that are destroying your relationships with others and yourself?

Day 3: Read 1 Corinthians 13:6. Our world does a great job of pointing out evil. Where are you rejoicing in the truth these days?

Day 4: Read 1 Corinthians 13:7-8. The love Paul writes about is not our love, but Jesus’ love working for us, in us, and through us. Take a moment to reread these verses (and verses 4-6 as well), putting “Christ” in place of the word “love”. After you do that, take time to thank Jesus for His great love for us through His grace and especially in our grief. Pray for a grieving friend to experience the love of Jesus today.

Day 5: Read Matthew 13:45-46. C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “Pleasure, money, power and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much.” What other “pearls” get in the way of the “pearl of great price”? Where do you need to be careful to put the higher priority on God things rather than good things? What in life distracts you and potentially drives you away from the “Pearl of Great Price” in Jesus?

Day 6: Read Genesis 22:1-2 and 8. Verse 2 is the first mention of love in the Bible. As Abraham faithfully follows God’s command and takes Isaac to the top of the mountain to sacrifice, Isaac asks where the animal is for sacrifice. “God Himself will provide,” Abraham answers. And God indeed does for Abraham, Isaac, and us. Where do you need God to provide in your grief? In your life? In the lives of someone you know?

You can Go Deeper this week by check out this resource (Christian-based support group for processing grief), and by reading this book Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg (not a Christian based resource),

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


Wonder Woman - When Goodness and Evil Collide

Landscape-1496413875-wonder-woman-movie-artwork (1)

Day 1: Read Matthew 4:5-7. When you take that step into no man’s land, isn’t that when Satan shows up, to offer the easy way out? Where are you finding Satan tempting you? What do you notice in how Jesus handles this temptation? How might Jesus’ approach help you when Satan is offering you the easy way out?

Day 2: Read Matthew 4:8-10. Satan offers Jesus a refined view of the truth. In other words, he’s lying. He seeks to trick Jesus, but Jesus finds His power, and we can as well by knowing and living out God’s word. What is one lie Satan is tempting you to believe? Where do you need to realign priorities to make sure God is the number one priority in your life?

Day 3: Read Romans 5:6-8. Jesus came to earth and was born in the flesh for the very purpose of defeating sin, death, and the devil at the cross, and one day He will return to put an end to evil and death forever. While Christians wait for Jesus’ return and the new heaven and earth to come, they should take every opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where is God leading you to share the story of Jesus? Where is God calling you to stand up against the evil darkness of this world?

Day 4: Read Colossians 3:15. We might translate Paul’s phrase “rule in your hearts” to a more modern translation of “Let the peace of Christ umpire in your hearts.” Let Him call the shots, direct the peace. Where is God directing your steps toward His plan for peace in the world? Where do you need to be reminded that you are not alone, and that God is with you in the battles of life?

Day 5: Read Colossians 3:12-14. Our power flows from God’s love, not vengeance. Where have you been tempted to respond with vengeance? How do Paul’s words guide you to a better response with love?

Day 6: Read Colossians 3:16-17. Every good word you speak, every act of kindness, every expression of mercy brings more light into the darkness that surrounds “no man's land”. Where have you seen others bring God’s light into the darkness of this world in the past week? Where are you bringing God’s light into this world?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS. 


The Case For Christ: Prepared To Give An Answer

The Case For Christ

Day 1: Read Jeremiah 29:12. I love the quote from C. S. Lewis: "If Christianity is true there's nothing more important in the entire universe." Where do you find it easy to seek God’s heart? Where is seeking God’s heart a challenge? Why?

Day 2: Read 1 Peter 3:18. This is Peter’s story of what he experienced, of the truth he knows, and wants all the world to know. God’s truth is worth a deeper look; dig deep into that truth. What is your story of God at work in your life?

Day 3: Read John 19:32-34. As Lee Strobel seeks to disprove Christianity, he identifies the key issue – the death and resurrection of Jesus. Disprove that truth, and you have hit the heart of the Christian faith. Why is it significant that John shares the details of his death? What does it mean for you to know Jesus died and rose again?  

Day 4: Read John 20:25. One of my favorite authors, John Ortberg, wrote a book called, “Faith and Doubt. His point? What if the most important word is the one in the middle? We often think of doubt as the opposite of faith, but could it actually strengthen our relationship with God? According to Ortberg, the very nature of faith requires the presence of uncertainty. Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. Today, take some of your God questions to Him in prayer.

Day 5: Read Matthew 5:14-16. Where have you seen people shining the light of Jesus in your life? Where is God calling you to shine His light in someone else’s life? What “good works” is God calling you to shine forth for His glory?

Day 6: Read John 1:12. We understand “Believe + Receive = Become” to be a great work of the Holy Spirit as people hear the message of God’s Word, prompted often by the light of faith they have seen lived out in others. Such light leads them to wonder who this Jesus is and worship Him once they realize He is their risen Lord and Savior. Whom will you commit to pray for to come to know Jesus as his/her Savior?

You can Go Deeper this week by reading the books: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.

Don't forget you can listen to this week's message or read the full PDF of the message & GPS.